Today’s news:

Queens graduates reap benefits of hard work

One of the larger...

June 2003 again was the time for thousands of New York City high school students to graduate. Many just barely met the requirements for graduation, but many won awards for accomplishments about which the average citizen barely knows.

One of the larger Queens high schools is Martin Van Buren. Like other graduates, Martin Van Buren seniors received many awards. Some were named after former teachers in the school, as is done in all schools. Some awards come from industries, local businesses, religious groups, government officials, service agencies, local civic associations, charities and unions. The list is endless. Some larger schools have graduation programs of several pages, in small print.

Some of the awards were the Governor’s Scholastic Achievement, Cooperation-in-Government, Alumni Scholarship, Attorney General Triple “C,” African Christian Teachers, Catholic Teachers’ Association, City Council Speaker’s, Chancellor’s Recognition Scholarship, Scholastic Achievement, Community Service, Gregory Meeks Congressional, Knights of Pithias, Long Island Blood Drive, Betsy Gottbaum Public Advocate and Mark Weprin NYS Assembly Award for Academic Achievement and for Community Service.

Other awards included the Mayor’s Distinguished Senior, NYS Lotto Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship, NYC Public Library Minerva, NYS Senate Outstanding Achievement, President’s Education Outstanding Academic Achievement for top 25 students, National Honor Society Scholastic, Principal’s Leadership, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Special Scholar’s Institute, Student Organization Service, Parent’s Association Scholarship, UFT Chapter Humanitarian and United States Marine Corps Award for Academic Excellence.

In each high school, each department presented awards to distinguished students. Each school has its own awards, depending on the specific programs or languages in that school.

There can be awards for accounting, business technology, cooperative education, physics, computer-aided design, Cisco academic, oration, office machine repair, creative writing, office technology, automotive repair, electron information processing, advanced placement college-level learning in various subjects, journalism, drama, excellence in citizenship, health careers, PSAL medals and electrical installation.

There also can be awards for fashion design, fashion illustration, auto engine repair, computer technology, debate, photoshop, orchestra, marching band, chorus, math Regents, science research, social studies research, athletic, 100 percent attendance, social studies excellence, Army Reserve scholar/athlete, desktop publishing and in all the sciences and all the languages taught in each school.

It is amazing how much so many students in our Queens high schools have accomplished during their four years in school with the help of their parents and teachers.

Good and bad news of the week

Plastic recycling is back. Last year the mayor proclaimed that the city could save money by not recycling plastic and glass. Years of hard work in training people to separate recyclables went down the drain. It is very expensive to remove garbage, so all the paper, plastic and glass that can be recycled is for the better.

It seems that the year we took off for recycling plastic only saved $10 million, not the estimated $50 million. This was foolish and bad for the economy and the environment.

We now have to wash bottles and other plastic objects, plus those wax milk and juice containers, and place them in the blue recycling cans or in blue plastic bags. They want us to take off the caps.

They don’t want plastic eating utensils or plastic food dishes. In the past, I recycled only those plastic containers with the “1,” “2” or “3” inside the small triangle on the bottom. Is this still true? It is July and the plastic recycling has started again, but the letter telling exactly what to do has not been delivered yet.

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